• Kyodo

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The town of Daio, Mie Prefecture, elected a 53-year-old woman currently pursuing a high school diploma as its new mayor Sunday.

Sumiyo Nona defeated the two-term incumbent, 62-year-old Masakatsu Hashizume, by around 300 votes. She garnered some 3,000 votes in total.

Nona, who will become the only woman to head a local government in Mie Prefecture, was elected to the town assembly in April 1999.

She started attending a night school program at the same time as she took her seat in the assembly.

Nona, who is a pearl dealer by trade, pledged during her campaign to cut costs — including the mayor’s salary.

She also said she will delay her plans to enroll at a junior college in April.

“Whatever your age is, (you) can always study,” Nona said.

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